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"Fiscal Devaluation" and Fiscal Consolidation: The VAT in Troubled Times

In: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis

  • Ruud de Mooij
  • Michael Keen

This paper focuses on two core tax design issues that arise in addressing current fiscal challenges. It first explores the idea, prominent in troubled Eurozone countries, of a "fiscal devaluation": shifting from social contributions to the VAT as a way to mimic a nominal devaluation. Empirical evidence is presented which suggests that in Eurozone countries this may indeed improve the trade balance in the short-run, though, as theory predicts, the effects eventually disappear. The paper then assesses the wider scope for VAT reform in meeting fiscal consolidation needs, developing and beginning to apply a methodology for finding additional VAT revenue in ways less distortionary and fairer than further raising the standard rate.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Alberto Alesina & Francesco Giavazzi, 2013. "Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ales11-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12646.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12646
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
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    18. Calmfors, Lars, 1998. "Macroeconomic Policy, Wage Setting, and Employment--What Difference Does the EMU Make?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 125-51, Autumn.
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